June 15, 2022
Photo captured Tuesday, June 7, in Ignacio, Colo. The Southern Ute Drum | Jeremy Wade Shockley

Emergency Preparedness: Part 2, La Plata County and Southern Ute Indian Tribe enter Stage II Fire Restrictions

La Plata County is experiencing higher than normal temperatures, windy conditions and very little rain. In part 2 KSUT’s Sarah Flower talks with the county’s emergency preparedness team on how they handle and execute emergency information to its residence.

By Sarah Flower

with guest Shawna Legarza, La Plata County Director of Emergency Management
Ted Holteen, La Plata County Public & Governmental Affairs Manager

With prolonged hot and dry conditions and recent fires, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe is implementing Stage II Fire Restrictions for everyone on the reservation.

The Stage II fire restrictions started this morning at 6:00 a.m., which prohibits open and agricultural burning, campfires, fireworks, and smoking.

The restrictions apply to the public, commercial operators, and industrial oil and gas operators, who work and live on the reservation, according to the Southern Ute Indian Tribe press release. Everyone on reservation land is encouraged to be very cautious at this time.

Courtesy The Southern Ute Indian | Lindsay J. Box

Anyone in violation may be subject to prosecution under the Southern Ute Indian Criminal Code.

Also, individuals who want to build a fire for a ceremonial purpose like sweat must first contact the BIA Fire Office for approval, including restrictions for commercial and industrial.

At the same time, the La Plata County Sheriff is enacting Stage II fire restrictions in the interest of public safety. This year, will be the seventh-driest year for La Plata County over the past 128 years, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System.

Commercial and Industrial restrictions can be obtained from the BIA Fire Office at 575 County Road 517, Ignacio, CO 81137 or by calling (970) 563-4571.

Safety Tips

Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

Additional information
Ready Indian Country

Listen to the audio for the full story or subscribe to KSUT Tribal Radio Podcast and listen whenever. TRT [6:35]

Copyright 2022 by KSUT Tribal Radio